Golden Arrows beat TS Galaxy to end four-game winless run in Durban
Lamontville Golden Arrows’ chances of securing a top-three finish in the 2019-20 DStv Premiership were significantly boosted by a resounding 3-0 victory against TS Galaxy at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium, Durban on Wednesday.
Goals from Michael Gumede in the seventh minute, Pule Mmodi in the 32nd and Ntsako Makhubela in the 61st rounded off a polished display from the high-flying Durban team.
Mandla Ncikazi’s Arrows have enjoyed their best PSL season – their previous two best finishes were fifth – and such a promising campaign seems to deserve at least a top four place.
Their grasp on a place in the top three or four had slipped in recent matches – coming into the game they had one once in eight games, and lost their last two. Their return to form on Wednesday lifted Arrows back into the top three with two games left to play for the KZN side.
Galaxy are having a tough end to the season, and a flat performance in the face of Arrows’ dynamic performance saw Own Da Gama’s ninth-placed side slump to a sixth defeat in eight matches, their top eight chances seemingly slipping out of their grasp.
Arrows owned the opening half and buried two good chances that went unanswered by a Galaxy who could not get into the game.
The Durban team took the fixture by the scruff of the neck and did it early, opening a lead inside the opening 10 minutes with a strike that came at the end of a textbook one-touch possession build-up across the field.
The passing movement culminated in Mmodi’s pass putting Divine Lunga down the left who squared for Michael Gumede to strike a relatively easy first-time finish past goalkeeper Marlon Heugh.
Arrows made it 2-0 just past the half-hour when Mmodi took an angled pass across the face of Galaxy’s box, turned and struck a fine drive into the top-right corner.
Abafana Bes’thende started the second half straight back on the front foot, as from a Lunga cross Velemseni Ndwandwe’s header looped inches wide.
It took until the 52nd minute for home goalkeeper Sifiso Mlungwana to be called on to make his first save. Galaxy substitute Mxolisi Macuphu turned a free-kick at goal for Mlungwana to make a reflex stop.
It was the Durban team who then added another just past an hour. Gumede produced an excellently-weighted pass down the right touchline to put Nduduzo Sibiya into space on the flank, whose cross was perfect for the well-timed run and emphatic diving header of midfielder Makhubela.
When Galaxy did manage chances Mlungwana stood in their way in imposing fashion, such as when substitute Tshegofatso Nyama smacked bouncing ball on the volley in the 71st, the keeper again up to the stop.